tv The Beat With Ari Melber MSNBC August 13, 2018 3:00pm-4:00pm PDT
spotted in the airport at the same time, that's gategate. we could keep going but we won't. we will collect these and share the best ones or other words we will aggregate. that's it for today. all of "mtb daily" and now to ari melber. >> i can't gate to see where this goes. >> i got nothing. >> nothing? >> ari, come on! come on, ari, start your show! i like that instagram picture you posted of us, by the way. >> wow, see, i didn't think you had anything because you said you didn't have anything, at the end, it turns out you had something up your sleeve. >> is the honey badger on today? >> not today but you never know until you watch the whole show. katy tur, thank you, as always. we're reporting more
stories. there is new heat on the trump tower with russians after he offered a lawyerly defense of his son's role in it. prosecutors are resting their case for the first time and said they have shown the court enough evidence to convict paul manafort. and i will talk to someone who said he even trained mueller's special prosecutors. and how to spot and fight problems with the election. and the taping caught by a former aide. this irony haunting the white house, note it is all of donald trump's own making. when it comes to secret tapes, donald trump seems to keep getting himself on the wrong end of them. a little context. it was donald trump who claimed
he might have tapes of james comey and claimed other people may have illegally taped him at trump tower, trump accusing former president obama of that. at this point in this presidency, tonight is a night we noticed the only tapes aired across america that embarrassed the people caught on said tapes are the tapes made by trump's own lawyer and fixer, michael cohen and now his own reality show apprentice, omarosa, who's gone from heralding the trump train to making him out tonight as a public enemy. >> when i say trump train, i want you to say choo-choo. y'all ready? trump train! choo-choo trump train! >> choo-choo! >> trump train! >> those were the days. tonight, the story is new reports coming off of omarosa's book, rollout tour that ivanka
trump and jared kushner were caught the couple wishing her the best and asserting they didn't know she was being fired at the time. not all these tapes are bad for the white house, omarosa's breach of protocol to bring a recording device into the situation room has drawn her far more criticism than her apparent target, chief of staff john kellie who within the government rules was within his rights to expect privacy there in her departure, as chief of staff and omarosa also had phone access to president trump features him claiming he had no idea she was being let go. >> omarosa. omarosa, what's going on. i just saw in the news you're thinking about leaving. what happened? >> general kellie came to me and said that you guys wanted me to leave. >> no, i -- nobody even told me about it? wow. >> you know, they run a big operation, but i didn't know it. i didn't know nat.
>> i don't love you leaving at all. >> that expert is obviously open to interpretation. donald trump could be telling the truth and he was out of the loop about her removal which in itself may not mean much if she already had a limited role. the president is not involved in a normal situation even in a trump white house. omarosa saying today trump is prepped to lie to the american people on "the daily. >> if the comes team prepped the president to lie to lester holt. >> they prep him to lie everyday. >> did you ever ask the question, why are we lying? >> all the time. the answer was -- >> this is how they do it. this is the trump administration at its best. >> this is how we do it, montel jordan there. trump is hitting back at his aide by giving her this nickname. >> mr. president, do you feel --
by omarosa, sir? >> lo life, she's a low life. >> this is not another plot twist, not a cliffhanger. this is another step in the march of a reality show presidency not so much staffed as cast not so much planned as it is scripted and that in the end, is not driven pao by debate which assumes people holding beliefs beyond self-interest and promotion. this isn't a debate tonight. this is just more content, which is why the self-made characters look so at ease in situations most people would find uncomfortable and undesirable. but we know this is their desire. this is what they want, as we've known about many of trump's flamboyant aides for some time. some of them want to use you but some of them want to get used by
you. joining me now we have michael hirsch horn who created the reality of hips. he is a critic of imimportant g imimportanting -- importing the style of governance. thanks to all of you for this very important discussion. i don't know. what do you think? >> i actually think you're spot on. i don't think this is a different story. i think this is what we call in journalism, more color for the same story already being written about the trump white house, which is despite promising americans he was going to hire the best people, actually president trump has shown that the people who are in the white house are people you wouldn't even necessarily want to be at your dinner table because you can't trust them, because of the lack of respect that they bring to the office and to the american people. it was one of those days for me where i said, imagine if barack
obama had done this. the double standard, not just for the first black president compared to president trump but also quite frankly at this point for republicans and the latitude they are sometimes given remarkable. >> you think america would be less patient with barack obama making all these hiring and firing decisions? >> oh, well, i'll leave it to the imagination. i think when you look at the quote unquote scandals during his administration, barack obama's, the wearing of a tan suit, we are so far beyond that at this point, and i think it's very clear that race is part of that, but also just this general disintegration of our politics into this reality carnival. it makes me sad. >> michael, because you are familiar with both this medium but also its limitations, these are times, as we think about what's in the news and what's
important and what the president is doing with his time, where i do struggle. i struggle to even understand what we're doing. so i reach for the poet method man who said, is it real, son, tell me if it's real, son, is it really real son? >> i thought you were going to reference the decatchy 6 y 9 g but you went deeper for me. i think it's unbearably sad and tragic. my concern expands to the coverage given to this issue. they are very successful, omarosa and the president at controlling attention. >> this is negative attention for donald trump. i'm willing to debate it. this is very negative attention on soft spot issues for him on something he told supporters was credible and positive for him
and on a day politically, he has finally gotten, we will get to later on the show, he would want the a block of the news shows to be about the firing of the fbi agent anti-trump deep state. does it really apply on a day like today? >> i think so, if we stick with the beef metaphor this is in the context of a reality show, kind of a hip-hop beef, right? and a hip hoff beef almost by definition benefits at least one or both of the parties. in this sense, anything that provided distraction is a positive. this actually represents a new type of distraction interesting as drama, but you never know if it's real or fake. i would posit these fakes are fabricated, the quality of the tape is too good. the whole thing kind of smells funky to me. >> when you say it's like a beef where both sides benefits because the conflict escalates them both to some degree.
it goes to the saying, what's beef? beef is when you need two tweets to go to sleep. >> right. ari, you begin with that analogy the white house is a reality show and trump likes to conduct it like a reality show. the problem with that metaphor is we are not viewers, we are citizens, we deserve better and we cannot opt out of this reality show on our terms. the world in many case is going to fire and then we're saddled with all this mess and we are distracted, as michael has said. this business, to your point, what about scaramucci and pruitt, a parade, horror show of disastrous hires and some in the main reality show and some sheer incompetence. distinguishing between inexce incompetence and reality tv. >> this is a constructive beef
for benefit is drama. here's donald trump and omarosa and their failed reality tv dating show. >> omarosa. >> mr. trump. >> you've been very good for me. and you're my pal. but, you know, i'd love to have you meet somebody. is there anybody that can tame you? i have 12 men. i want you to go to las vegas, meet these guys and you will decide whether or not there's somebody for you. >> i hope i can find them. >> note, that was a binder full of men, for anyone who remembers, that's a binder full of men. but it goes to your point these two have been collaborators. >> absolutely. i think they've been collaborators for a long time. anyone who is a reality show villain is a reality show villain for life. there's no way out of it and this is a continuation of their relationship by other means. >> i'm going to say donald trump really only seems to have two litmus tests to work in that white house, one is to make him look extremely good, and the
other is to be red meat for his base. when those are the litmus tests you use to hire you don't necessarily get the best people. >> i will bring is pulitzer prize winning journalist. this was considered more of a pipe dream in 2015, let's take a look. >> you have to understand the dynamic of celebrity feud, honey, i made a career out of celebrity feuds. he is selling the sizzle not the stake. you all are getting caught up on the sizzle. >> what have we learned? >> a lot. that conversation happened in august 2015. it was the first saturday after donald trump participated in his first debate in the republican primary. i wanted us to bring in a trump whisperer, someone who could explain him to us because we figured he would do something in that debate to require us to talk about it and talk about him. that interview with omarosa has stuck with me for three years
because everything she said in august 2015 turned out to be true. the thing she said was, jonathan, reality television has taken over america. donald trump is the reality television king. he is now bringing that to presidential politics and you're making a mistake if you try to view him through a presidential prism. you need to view him through this pop culture reality television prism. i was having a hard time with that. three years later i have no hard time at all. i completely see it. everything i know about donald trump and learned about donald trump i learned from omarosa. >> michael is saying something you did as well, what is the culture conversation tapped into. the celebrity status of donald trump held against him not only by the republican establishment on the right but by the elites and what you might call center and liberal elites played well in different parts of the
country. he didn't get more votes but he came close. hard to imagine john kellie fits into the beef feud -- john kelly -- here's the audio. >> is the president aware of what's going on? >> don't go down the road. this is a non-negotiable discussion. this has to do with serious integrity violations. i'll let it go at that. the staff and everyone on the staff works for me, not the president. after your departure i'll in form him if he gets interested on where you may be. >> is that part real? >> they sound like they're in bed together. >> but they're not, allegedly in the situation room. >> allegedly. the problem is i think what's happening right now is everything is becoming an allegedly. part of the deterioration that the trump administration has created where you don't trust anything. i think the entire country is in a state of paranoia. what if this is real? i have no idea.
>> the idea is john kelly, based on what we know, there are facts, she was removed from the white house and government payroll and no longer draw as check and doesn't go there everyday and john kelly was the one that removed here. this is what john kelly the chief of staff is spending his time on. >> what's the accountability for that? if these are so slippery, he's actively creating an atmosphere of paranoia, what is the tangibility of these facts. they are facts but he gets to determine, oh, she's this and that and he gets to determine the paramoueters of the fact ift were not for journalists keeping him accountable? >> do you think this is something that plays out in washington for a few more days and tapes or has long term significance for this president? >> i think we're now in omarosa's hands. she initially said, i've got
tapes. the initial reaction in washington was, oh, sure you do. then, on "meet the press" yesterday she drops a tape that you just played. we hear that it's not only the chief of staff but it's in the situation room, she upped the ante this morning on the "today" show with a tape of a conversation she had with president trump saying she had just been fired. now, there's reports she's got recordings of jared and ivanka. she could keep this going, omarosa could keep this going for however long and however many tapes she has. it requires us in the press to determine whether we've had enough. >> thanks to each of you. as soon as hour show is over, i should note, related, omarosa will be live on chris matthews with "hardball." and does the trump tower
meeting suggest follow-up? i have an ex-prosecutor hat argued cases before the same judge. later, facebook taking proactive measures to stop midterm hacking and what some activists are saying about it. f. ancestrydna can open you to a world of new cultures to explore. with two times more detail than any other dna test... you can connect more deeply to the places of your past. and be inspired to learn about the people and traditions that make you, you. savor your dna story. only $59-- our site's lowest price ever. but it's tough to gete enough of their nutrients. new one a day with nature's medley is the only complete multivitamin with antioxidants from one total serving of fruits and veggies try new one a day with nature's medley.
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don has received notoriety for a brief meeting that many politics would have taken. but most importantly to the best of my knowledge nothing happened after the meeting. concluded trump has said before nothing happened after the meeting concluded. quite lawyerly, to the best of my knowledge, which is wiggle room, especially if there is more information about the meeting his team knows might later come out or bob mueller already has. the larger context is we have seen the stories about this pivotal meeting change before. >> the president's son is confirming that meeting to nbc news calling it simply introductory, saying they discussed a russian adoption program. >> reporter: donald trump jr. now acknowledges he was -- >> an e-mail from the president's son responding to information on hillary clinton from the russian government saying, quote, if it's what you say, i love it. >> he certainly didn't dictate. he weighed in.
>> trump's lawyers admitting for the first time trump wrote and dictated a statement that tried to hide what really happened to the trump meeting with the russians. >> this is all of it? >> this is everything. this is everything. >> this is everything, to the best of some people's knowledge. i'm joined by two federal prosecutors, john flannery and kathy fleming. john, i hear from people in and around trump world, who sometimes complain that these stories never go away. it is unfair to them. today seems like a day where this is a big story because of donald trump talking about it in a new way and donald trump jr.'s conduct. what is your analysis? >> well, the problem with trump senior is the best of his knowledge is always something we have to extract because he never gives it to us. if he makes an admission against interest, that's reliable. if he makers an incredibly false statement like the meeting was
about adoption, then that tells us something, that he's hiding something. then we can quote impute knowledge to him, take information in e-mails and conduct and say what he really did. for example, after the june 9th meeting he held a press conference and he talked about hillary and e-mails. then, we had the discussion from june onto the convention the democratic convention saying we have to get something because we can't get the democratic party unified. on july 24th, there's a release and we find out wasserman schultz has been double dealing. that helped split the party and trump comments on that. trump on the 27th, invites the russians to give him e-mails. it's really nice to say what knowledge he has, but it's a reservation protecting him from his own son going down the drain, i think. he always reserves something for himself. >> the relationship between
these two, has really become significant, which goes to how involved you want your family in business or the business of politics. take a look at a much older archive footage by don junior about what he was taught by his father the truth. 7:00 in the morning i'm going to school, hugs, kisses, no smoking, no drinking, no drugs, a great lesson for any kid. then followed up with don't trust anyone ever. he would follow it up two seconds later, do you trust me? >> yes. you're my dad. he thought my son's a loser, i couldn't understand what he meant at the time. it's not something you would tell a 4-year-old. it really means something to him. >> why put it in your kids lunch to say i love you to say, don't trust anyone ever to get him ready for the real world. if you were trying to teach him not to trust anyone what better way than sending out tweets
unsolicited and no meaning in the context of the case in the public on that case than saying i had nothing to do with this, to the best of my knowledge, nothing happened. i don't understand why he'd put this statement out, not even a tweet. clearly a lawyered up statement, given to the "washington post." why give it out today? are you trying to distract from other stories? is there something about to come out you need to get this out and ahead of things. it is kind of irrelevant, except donald trump is putting it out there and bringing attention back to his son. it doesn't make sense to me you would do that. >> how do you think prosecutors look at this when anything donald trump would have done -- it wasn't self-interest, per se. >> what donald trump knows has to clearly be from his son or other people involved in it. michael cohen has sent out signals to say trump knew about it ahead of time. we know other people looking to
seek favor with the government may try to flip and say he had knowledge about it. the fact is whatever happened will have to be proven down the road. i don't know whether he thinks he will be helping things by continuing to give more statements. any good lawyer will say the fewer statements somebody makes in the press the better, the fewer statements a prosecutor has the better. >> you used the term, "good lawyer," john, that's a term you have reserved and refuse to apply to rudy guiliani, like you, is a former federal prosecutor. "the beat" team here went through his new claim sunday, which can be fact checked not through the archive or other facts but by playing rudy guiliani's prior statements. >> i want to be clear exactly what happened in that conversation with comey about michael flynn. what exactly did president trump say? >> there was no conversation
about michael flynn. >> you told abc news michael comey said quote, can you give him a break?" >> i never said that. that's crazy. that's what comey is saying. >> he's saying the president is asking him in his words to let the michael flynn investigation do. >> he didn't do that. he said, can you give him a break. >> comey said he took it as direction. >> that's okay. >> the thing that's distressing, not only can ruddy not possibly find a straight line and maybe trump junior's dad should have said, don't lie, in that same prescription and ruddy the same thing. if trump ever does testify and tells a story rudy is telling, is rudy teaching him to change his story this way or is rudy exposing himself publicly in the public domain as a politician to lying about what happened?
this is at the same time we have a criminal investigation going on and he's saying ridiculous things contradicted by himself, by documents and witness, soon, after manafort is convicted, i think a series of indictments and one of them may very well be trump junior. this is an american tragedy and we don't seem to be able to awake from this awakening nightmare. it's a terrible time. >> there are certainly lies caught on tape and for many people a nightmare. i have to state paul manafort presumed innocent until proven guilty. we don't know what this jury will do in the d.c. trial. appreciate the expertise from you, john and kathy fleming, two very experienced prosecutors. straight ahead, mueller's team resting its case against paul manafort. the former prosecutor who trained several on mueller's team joins me next. ages. and it's also a story about people. ages. people who rely on us every day to deliver their dreams
they're handing us more than mail they're handing us their business and while we make more e-commerce deliveries to homes than anyone else in the country, we never forget... that your business is our business the united states postal service. priority: you ♪ as we mentioned bob mueller's prosecutors rested their case against president trump's former campaign trial that could put him in prison the rest of his life. he's expected to off out of taking the stand and closing arguments could come as soon as tomorrow and defendants have many reasons why not to take the stand. we've seen manafort choke up in the past testifying before congress about a public housing scandal in 1989 and admitting
what he did amounted to influence pedaling. the technical term for what we do and law enforcement is lobbying. some people might term it influence pedaling. >> that didn't seem to go over well with everyone. manafort appeared to dodge some of the chairman's questions and at times appeared rattled. >> the housing office had a mayor. >> it didn't have a housing authority. we went to the appropriate housing authority as we understood it. >> i am asking you a different question, mr. manafort. >> i'm getting to that. >> i'm asking you a simple question, i'm asking you to address the question i'm asking you. i'm enormously patient and courteous but i expect a courteous response to the questions i ask. >> i'm joined by gene, a former prosecutor in the justice department's tax division for two decades in that same eastern district of virginia, arguing before judge ellis over 500
total times and you were inside the courtroom last week. it is great to have you at the table. >> thank you very much. >> you have a lot of experience here. big picture. what is the severity of the case prosecutors have been able to put towards manafort now that it's rested and what impact is it having on this quite well-known judge ellis who you've been before. >> let me talk about judge ellis. for 20 years i had seven trials in front of him and appeared over 500 times. he's demanding, diligent, brilliant. he doesn't use a velvet hammer. he use as sledgehammer with nails. i am covered with scars and wounds from judge ellis over those 20 years. you have to roll with him. let's talk about the amount of evidence presented. in every criminal tax case you have to look at greed, lies and manipulation. in this case, greed is enormous. $16 million undeclared.
the number of lies too many to count. the manipulation of tax preparers and bank officials is also enormous. if i had to bet money and i don't have a lot of money. paul manafort will be found guilty of five counts of filing a false tax return. he probably will be found guilty of several counts of bank fraud plus the foreign bank account requirement. do i think he has a chance of a hung jury? maybe. i don't know what they will put on for evidence tomorrow. i do know this. if they put paul manafort on the stand, they are crazy. those attorneys who are representing paul manafort are some of the best from the best. from the tax division of the department of justice. i'm familiar with all three. they've been doing a great job but they don't need to put paul manafort on the stand. >> as you know from your stance of trial advocacy, the two
things bump together. it is only in a situation a defendant is very worried about getting convicted they might need the hail mary of going on the stand, the burden with the prosecutors you used to sit in. as to whether paul manafort would help himself or not, he does have a law degree and does see himself as a master strategist. playing more on the intro, a lot of reasons he doesn't come off that well on the stand. look at that grilling. >> doesn't that seem to you improper? >> we did not think that that was improper? do you now? the point -- i want you to answer the questions. >> that seems to be improper. i guess the point getting lost in the process, there was -- the fact that the program had been funded didn't mean our project -- >> no, it's not getting lost, mr. manafort. great risk. >> can you get away with those kind of answers in front of
judge ellis? >> absolutely not. had paul manafort acted like that in front of judge ellis. judge ellis is prone to interrupt a witness, the prosecutor and defense. i would guarantee you judge ellis would interrupt and conduct his own cross-examination. i have seen it in my seven trials. >> before we go, i want to ask you, is there anything you've seen in this case suggests mueller is close to being done or far from being done or looking at other things? >> there are three, what i call red flags and loud gongs coming out in the last few days. the first red flag and loud gong that points towards this investigation is not done is that sidebar that was held involving rick gates. they tried to cross-examine. they had a sidebar, about the trump campaign. that was a long sidebar. that sidebar was put under seal. that's a red flag because rick gates worked for the convention, he worked for the campaign. he worked for the transition
committee, and he also worked a little bit for trump's organization. the other red flag is something from friday, august 10th, page 2045 of the transcript, there's a sidebar about a conspirator statement from stephen faulk of the savings bank. in that sidebar, he said mr. caulk is facing other criminal liability. that suggests to me caulk, in a high economic position and working with the transition and inauguration committee, he may, one, have been conspireing with manafort to do bad things, public corruption, or without manafort, he was doing something involving public corruption. this is not over. absolutely. the third red flag is this. george poppa dop pa lis, at
10:23 this morning, a protective order was filed. that suggests to me that sentencing may involve a lot of cooperation from russia, possibly. it's not over. >> you're talking whether gates is testifying anywhere else regarding the trump organization and whether there's criminal liability and what popodopolis is putting up. thank you. the ouster of the fbi agent targeted repeatedly and on twitter. first, a report how the russian reaction is shifting and going offline. your insurance company is gonna raise your rate after the other car got a scratch so small you coulda fixed it with a pen.
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attacks on u.s. election systems not in 2016 and not in the mid-terms. right now, we want to take a special report look at how these attacks are morphing into new and dangerous forms including real offline activities that affect the mid-terms. consider that already a top democrat on the intelligence committee says these 2018 online attacks are from russia. >> only three months before the 2018 elections, russian-backed operatives continue to infiltrate and manipulate social media, to highjack the national conversation and set americans against each other. >> russian hackers are working to target senators individually including democrat, claire mccaskill and reportedly penetrated at least one voter registration system. all of those lead donald trump's own cia director to say, this campaign is continuing. >> in regards to russian
involvement in the midterm elections, we continue to see a pervasive messaging campaign. >> that's what's happening, yet there are many including trump allied conservatives who argue russia's influence online or facebook is laughable. the debate here is whether what happens online matters. there's reporting that shows this is not just about what's online or out in some mythical cyber face. facebook is a crucial tool of ongoing espionage because it is a hub for real people inside our country to do real things on the ground. which is why it is a so important to continue to expose these efforts to understand how online right now, there are these allegedly foreign facebook campaigns to target and organize real world events. before we even get into the new stuff, what you might call meddling 2.0, let's make sure we remember what mueller already busted during 2016. that ad that promoted a down
with hillary event offline from new york or heart of texas group, get ready to secede. there were ads bought by russians. that includes the black lives matter group in 2016. all of that we know. here's what's happening now. menk, this weekend, was bracing for this very divisive and potentially set of events at unite the right rally in washington. while that was going on, while people were getting ready for that, there was a foreign effort trying to basically gin up a lot of discord through the web and online this weekend. you're about to see one of these efforts. we're showing it to you because it's fake, not real, trying to exploit this weekend's events, called resisters, feminist activism. it wasn't real, created march 2017. facebook would report the page
was once moderated and shared by fake russia-linked accounts. they would promote a unite the right event. it caught up real people, brendan or singer, who contacted the page to get involved in the counter-protest effort. he told the "new york times." he spoke with someone, who said their name was mary, who was an administrator for months about these efforts. turns out there was no mary, and orsinger was spending real-time with somebody who may be involved in foreign espionage and reached out to other people to try to join the rel effort. there were five activism groups that cohosted the original fake group. this is important when you get into what's going on. that counter protest fake, being mingled with real americans unknowingly working in
conjunction with fake accounts that may be linked to foreign espionage. facebook suspended that account the end of july and shut down this counter protest. the resisters was one of the most popular and black american were fake pages and then it gets messier, part of the purpose. while that page was fake, the issues of racism and civil rights are very real and some of the people recruited inside the u.s. are real people. some of them, anti-trump activist, are upset the fake page was taken down. there were already 3,000 people involved when facebook deleted them. facebook was doing what so many people asked them to delete these foreign efforts to disrupt the problem and other citizens
affected. one of those protesters i showed you, he told us he was against activists from shutting down the page because he wanted to activate about the rally. if any of this is somewhat familiar, it's actually the kind of point a harvard digital expert was telling us about on "the beat." he argues we have to both expose the russian efforts but not let them boomerang on us because they traffic in real issues. >> they seem to be jumping on bandwagons that are already there. largely, they're not driving the effect. they're not driving the resistance to i.c.e., they're not driving the rejection of the white supremacists. they're trying to make a spiel, like our democracy is not safe because of them, when in fact
it's internal divisions with very long and deep roots. >> those internal divisions are as real as many americans who rely on them everyday. we use them for news and information and certainly for companionship. facebook remain is in the certainty of all this even as it improves how to handle it because facebook works with our real identities as mark zuckerberg made clear way back in 2010. >> most things on the web aren't designed primarily to user fronts. they don't assume you have a real identity. it assumes this is really you, you're tied to it. the web look as lot different when everything is completely anonymous but friends have real friends and identity. >> he's right about that. the fact that facebook uses our identities is why people use it around the world and continues to be a breeding ground for
these foreign efforts. they want to confuse us. while we've pointed out what's wrong with facebook's response, today is one of those days the update goes, they're trying but back, the lawyer for the ousted fbi agent who sent the trump messages just spoke out. who's first? no. this isn't permanent, right? ask him. [terry squeals.] get unlimited data, live tv, and your choice of an extra on us. more for your thing. that's our thing. visit att.com a hotel can make or break a trip. and at expedia, we don't think you should be rushed into booking one. that's why we created expedia's add-on advantage. now after booking your flight, you unlock discounts
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personal opinions impact any official action i took. it is not who i am, and it is not something i would ever do. >> fbi agent peter strzok denied any of his personal mistakes impacted the way he did his fbi job when he broke his silence to congress there just last month. but tonight's news is his fbi bosses apparently disagreed to some degree. they've taken an unusual step of going beyond the discipline called for in that internal review, and they have fired him today. the fbi declines to comment on the details. i'm joined now by ryan riley, who has been covering the details for huffington post at the justice department. why was he fired as best you can tell? >> you know, it's sort of unclear at this point because usually, for most of these procedures it's usually a very hidden process. you know, i have foia requests dating back years about the internal disciplinary process at the fbi. . but this is a very unusual circumstance in which we have the president of the united states tweeting and weighing in on this and the process as it's played out with the i.g. report has of course been very public.
peter strzok's words, his text messages have definitely helped been used as a weapon to undermine legitimacy in the fbi and sort of caused republican faith in the fbi to plummet. as this plays out, i think that there's no way that wouldn't have impacted their decision in this case. >> on the one hand a lot of people look at what came out and thought if people around the country get fired for literally nothing or budget cuts and sometimes get fired for judgment that there seems to be an argument for firing him. on the other hand it's not something as you say we'd even know about but for the witch hunt attacks on the administration. here was strzok's lawyer within the last hour. >> i don't think that you can rationally reach any conclusion other than it was political. trump also and his allies on capitol hill called for strzok to be fired. the demotion and the suspension was the right call and not dismissal. i mean, that was overturned by
the deputy director. this is way out of proportion. >> your view. >> yeah, i think the one thing here is this is an administration that's not necessarily known for its rigorous advocacy for discipline of law enforcement officials. it's only in this context. there's a situation where he's speaking out against trump in these text messages. that the administration really cares about really making sure that law enforcement officers are held to account for some of these issues. >> you're saying there's a contrast in the way the administration deals with law enforcement officials accused of unlawful killings or police brutality or racism, that that doesn't get the same fervor that this did because someone was discovered to have privately criticized donald trump. >> correct. yeah. there's this broader advocacy for support of law enforcement officials and it's hard to imagine a scenario in which there was a controversial shooting where the president would be weighing in in this nature and saying we've definitely got hold this person, fire this person, hold them accountable. that's just not a situation that's going to arise. >> right. and then as you point out in your reporting, the fbi also quite mum on this.
so it's hard to know what their official story is because as of today they don't really have one. we wanted to get more reporting to give people some insights on this. ryan reilly, we appreciate your time on that. >> definitely. thanks for having me. >> absolutely, sir. and we will be right back. but allstate actually helps you drive safely... with drivewise. it lets you know when you go too fast... ...and brake too hard. with feedback to help you drive safer. giving you the power to actually lower your cost. unfortunately, it can't do anything about that. now that you know the truth... are you in good hands?
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and you can subscribe and listen to the show commercial-free. now, that does it for us tonight. we'll be back here at 6:00 p.m. eastern tomorrow. "hardball" with chris matthews is up next. omarosa versus trump. let's play "hardball." good evening. i'm chris matthews in washington. tonight the american presidency is under siege, not by an opposition political party or a crusading newspaper but by a well-known former white house aide. against her there now manning the ramparts, president trump's administration has been liltered with leaks, allegations and record-setting turnover. omarosa manigault newman, whose upcoming book "unhinged" is set for release tomorrow, joins a growing list of former white house staffers who have documented their time during the trump administration. in her bock she accuses the president of being a race exist